光とつくる ”Hikari to tsukuru”
Build with Lightby Richard Byers
Hiyori Art Center in Ishinomaki city, Miyagi Prefecture.
April 12 to May 12, 2013

I was awarded a 2 month residence and exhibition as part of the Yokohama/ Ishinomaki Art Exchange program from March to May 2013. The residency allowed me to bring together an exhibition of photography work produced in 2012 while living in Ishinomaki city and to create new works based on ink line drawings of building and the landscape of the city.

Ishinomaki city was devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, and I worked last year on a volunteer art project, collaborating with local and other Japanese citizens.

The solo exhibition featured over 80 works, photography, drawings, video and interactive light projections. I worked in the gallery everyday talking with visitors and drawing new works requested by the public. The new requested works were ink line drawings of places visitors wanted me to draw and include into the exhibition. The visitor then had the option of buying the work if they wished.

The exhibition was very successful in many ways. The mission of the Hiyori Art Center is to build an understanding and culture of modern art within the city, as part of it’s recovery process from the disaster of 2011. The works in the exhibition were very popular with both citizens of the city and visitors, with a majority of the works being sold over the month long exhibition. And in addition to this tangible success was the greater but more intangible success of the engagement with a wide range of the local community. Many People visited the gallery who had previously not had a keen interest in modern art, and people visitor multiple times, forming good relationships with both me as the artist and also with the gallery curator.

Also out of the experience of the residency program a number of future projects with various groups in Ishinomaki was formed and I hope can be developed into a long lasting relationship between myself and Ishinomaki.

I want to thank all the Ishinomaki people who visited and showed their kindness, with seemingly endless gifts of food and good wishes, I will forever remember you all and look forward to visiting Ishinomaki again.

がんばって石巻!

Below is small selection of the photos that were taken of the exhibition and my time living in Ishinomaki.

I will also soon upload a number of videos of the exhibition. check again soon.

Hiyori Art Center – Japanese information [PDF]


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